Where is this walk?

St John’s in the Vale

October 18, 2018

Tewet Tarn is a lovely, rarely visited tarn and the object of this short walk in St John’s in the Vale. Enjoy the church on the walk and the excellent views across to Blencathra (the best views of my favourite mountain).

The Walk

St John’s in the Vale sits to the south of Blencathra and to the west of the long Helvellyn ridge. It is usually visited only¬†as a short cut from Threlkeld on to the main spine road between Keswick & Windermere. This is a shame because it is an exceptionally attractive glaciated valley worthy of further exploration. The northern end of the valley holds some nostalgic affection for me. The narrow and now impassable road that passes the pretty church of St Johns (built in 1845 although there is evidence of a church being on the grounds in the 16th century) used to convey the family Smith to visit our friends (the Crowdys). Theylived in one of the beautifully situated cottages at Shaw Bank under High Rigg.

My memories of these days was the hairpins on the road which appeared too demanding for my dad’s old Ford Escort and, once at our friend’s cottage, spending hours messing about on the slopes of High Rigg. Today there is a lovely walk that passes the church (and the neighbouring Youth Centre) before passing over Low Rigg to Tewet Tarn. The views from Low Rigg of Skiddaw and Blencathra are excellent. They are at their best out of season when the A66 has less traffic upon it. St John’s in the Vale is worthy of extra exploration.


Turn left at the church and head up High Rigg if you have the time and energy. A real shaggy dog peak so typical of the Lake District.

Navigation Tips in St John’s in the Vale

South from Tewitt Tarn follow the path on the ground. The official right of way is to the east whilst the obvious path skirts the tarn and climbs between the two hillocks of Low Rigg.

  • Sally Harnett says:

    Therre is a lovely farm that serves tea and cake in the garden, (have sometimes sat in the rain!) , animals about – even watched a pig herding sheep once, I kid you not!! Sometimes an honesty box is out, we go every year. Low Bridge End Farm, on the walk along the valley.

  • chris says:

    Walked this on Saturday 6th April with my wife, 3.5 year old and baby on my back.
    The walk is beautyfull and just right for a young family, Not too steep and not many roads, none busy.
    Only wish we had taken a picnic as it would have been the cherry on the top.

    Chris and Family

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